Do you like salsa? I love it a lot! The first time I fell in love with salsa was when I had it at my brother's house. I have another brother and this one loves to cook. A few years ago, he cooked a Mexican themed lunch when my parents came for a holiday.
All of us enjoyed that lunch to the max and when I asked about the salsa, my brother showed me the bottle of salsa that he used. Apparently, you can buy ready made salsa that come in jars and you can add more ingredients to it and adjust it to your taste.
Salsa is very appetizing and there are many recipes, most of which are very basic and simple. Just dice up some tomatoes, onions, cilantro, squeeze some lime juice and season with salt.
There's also mango and pineapple salsa which I also love and can eat by the spoonfuls. This Salsa Roja Asada involves a little bit more work but it is worth the effort. You need to roast your tomatoes first.
Next you roast some chilli peppers and garlic in an ungreased pan.
The chillies are roasted until they are blistered. The garlic will blacken and soften. This is how they look like.
After that, remove the garlic from the skin, remove the stem from the chillies and dump the whole lot into the blender with some salt and the roasted tomatoes. Blend.
Pour into a bowl, add minced shallot, chopped cilantro and squeeze some lime juice and you are good to go. Yeah, I know. So much work. Roasting the tomatoes, the chillies and garlic, mincing the shallots, chopping the cilantro, squeezing the lime and washing the blender. Yes, my kitchen was in a mess. And I admit that I felt depressed.
But after tasting the salsa, I felt very rewarded because I can't get this taste in a store bought jar. The salsa had a smokey flavor and it was awesome. After that, I proceeded to wash whatever bowls, chopping board, knife, spoons, blender etc and one by one everything was cleared off. The kitchen was clean and I felt a lot better. Best of all, I have a container of salsa in the fridge. If only I had a bag of tortilla chips.....
Salsa Roja Asada
Recipe source : Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo (page 54)
- 600g plum tomatoes
- 4 jalapeno peppers (my salsa is quite hot and if you want it milder, use less peppers or remove the ribs and seeds)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 big onion, finely minced
- a bunch of chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
- juice of 4 or 5 limes (or to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Place tomatoes on a lined baking tray and roast the tomatoes until the skin is blistered and blackened on top. Flip the tomatoes and continue to roast until tomatoes are soft (it took me about 40 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. While tomatoes are roasting, roast the jalapeno peppers and garlic in an ungreased frying pan, turning occasionally until garlic is softened and charred and peppers are nicely blistered.
4. When the garlic and peppers are cool enough, peel the garlic and remove the stems from the peppers (mine did not have stems).
5. In a blender of food processor, blend the peppers, garlic and salt. Be careful when removing the lid as the spicy contents will make your eyes water.
6. Add the tomatoes (including the blackened skin) and pulse until a thick puree develops.
7. Transfer the salsa to a bowl and stir in the lime juice, minced onions and cilantro. Taste and adjust for seasoning.